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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Loft wants to see your ugly sweaters at annual event

    Courtesy+of+J.J.+GiddingsProgram+Director+Jeff+Yanc+and+Santa+Claus+sing+Christmas+songs+at+The+Loft+Cinema+during+%26%23698%3BVery+Merry+Holiday+Sing-A-Long+Spectacular%21%26%23698%3B+in+2013.

    Courtesy of J.J. Giddings

    Program Director Jeff Yanc and Santa Claus sing Christmas songs at The Loft Cinema during ʺVery Merry Holiday Sing-A-Long Spectacular!ʺ in 2013.

    The Loft Cinema will be holding its annual “Very Merry Holiday Sing-A-Long Spectacular” on Thursday at 7 p.m.

    Commencing with a Bad Holiday Sweater Parade, the audience will be urged to don their most tacky, ugly Christmas sweaters and share their own wacky holiday stories, and the favorite will be awarded a fabulous prize.

    Ten participants will be preselected by the staff to share their stories with the audience. After each has told their own anecdote, the audience will then determine the winner with applause.

    Jeff Yanc, program director at The Loft, recalled one memorable anecdote of a woman who wore a hideous, multicolored, shag sweater vest with tree ornaments for buttons.

    “It looked like holiday road kill,” Yanc said, fondly remembering with laughter.

    Yanc said the woman told an oddly compelling story about how the sweater once belonged to her mother, who accidentally lit the sweater on fire with a cigarette on Christmas Day, burning half of it into cinders and resulting in its disposal. Since it was her mother’s favorite handmade sweater, she snuck the sweater out of the trash and taught herself how to sew, spending an entire year attempting to recreate the sweater in secret for her mother. She revived the sweater to its former hideous glory and gave it to her mother as a Christmas present the following year.

    In previous years of the event, contestants have sung a cappella Christmas carols, danced, wired themselves with blinking Christmas tree lights and tried to recite “The Twelve Days of Christmas” backwards — all in an attempt to win over the audience. Not knowing what to expect adds to the yuletide charm of the event.

    Preceding the parade will be subtitled musical clips from Christmas-time classics, including Nat King Cole, Michael Bublé, Frank Sinatra, Elvis, the Grinch, Judy Garland, Mariah Carey, the Muppets, Wham, ‘N Sync and Pee Wee Herman.

    In the dubbed “movie seat caroling,” those in attendance may just find themselves singing along to their nostalgic holiday favorites.

    “I am generally a Grinch with holiday stress,” said Brenda Rodriguez, assistant manager of The Loft. “Last year, the sing-a-long lifted me out of the hustle and [I] experienced the joy [from] when I was a child full of wonder.”

    Free candy canes and special holiday eggnog at the snack bar will be provided along with other festive treats.

    The event also encourages guests to bring unwrapped toys for donation to Casa de los Niños, and those who do will receive discounted admission.

    Casa de los Niños, a nonprofit charity benefitting neglected and abused children in Southern Arizona, helps families during the holidays with collaborations such as Holiday Wish Tree, Adopt-a-Family and various other toy drives.

    The Loft’s “Sing-a-Long Spectacular” benefits the toy drive by donating its collected toys as Christmas presents and late birthday presents for kids over the next year.

    “The Loft is great for doing this for the kids at Casa de los Niños,” said Dan Gregory, community relations coordinator for Casa de los Niños.

    After all, the best way to spread holiday cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

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    Follow Alexandra Paletta on Twitter.

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